Hamburg Plans to Eliminate the Need for Cars in 20 Years

Germany’s second largest city is turning to green pathways to make it completely accessible by foot or bike.

by / January 21, 2014

Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, has just unveiled its Green Network Plan, a compilation of strategies designed to eliminate the need for cars in the city in the next two decades.

Hamburg is made up of 40 percent green areas, gardens, parks and squares, and the new plan is designed to unite these areas in a way that will be completely accessible by foot or bike.

“Other cities, including London, have green rings, but the green network will be unique in covering an area from the outskirts to the city center,” city spokeswoman Angelika Fritsch told The Guardian. “In 15 to 20 years, you’ll be able to explore the city exclusively on bike and foot.”

The city also plans to utilize the green areas both to help absorb carbon dioxide and prevent flooding. Hamburg’s average temperature has increased about 34 degrees in the past 60 years and the sea level has risen about 7 inches.

The city will work to unite each of the seven municipalities of the metropolitan region to ensure that all residents receive access to green pathways.

Another area that has been taking initiative toward greener transportation is San Francisco with its Connecting the City project, which launched in 2011. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition spurred the project, which aims to create 100 miles of cross-town bikeways by 2020, with three roadways receiving primary focus: the Bay to Beach, North-South and Bay Trail routes.

The coalition aims for these three roadways to be bike friendly by 2015, with additional busy areas soon following suit. The goal is to continue substantially increasing the amount of people who choose to bike every day.